We all remember Zayn Malik from the famous Irish band One direction, I personally remember him from the song ‘Up All Night’ were we can see young ZAYN performing in a concert with his band members and this song was the part of the first album of One direction. Everything was going great, until in 2015 Zayn decided to quit his band after the “On the road again tour”, there were many questions raised about his exit, rumors were spreading all around that he had a ego clash with his band mates, but Zayn made it clear that his exit has nothing to do with his band mates, they all were very supportive about his decision, it was just because of to much of stress he left and that’s what he mentioned in a Facebook statement . So, in that same year he decided to go all alone with his production, so he began with launching demo version of “I won’t mind” ,unfortunately this was leaked by his producer Naughty Boy. Malik also worked with grime rappers Krept and Konan, but his material was never released after he parted away from Naughty Boy. As people says that “experience matters” and that exactly what help Malik to get recognition as he had worked with such big names that helped him to gain more urban support.
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In recent time we have seen a lot of examples were a celebrity had started his or her journey from YouTube and later become a famous personality, one of those is Charlie Puth. A 27-year-old boy from New Jersey started his music career as a YouTuber where, he started his own channel called the Charlies Volgs. Initially he uses to post funny videos and acoustic covers. In 2010 Charlie Puth uploaded his first music video for the song called “These are my sexy shades”, with time he started receiving many acknowledgments for his online performances, he was awarded with few of the online awards as well. 2011 was the time when probably he got his first breakthrough when Ellen DeGeneres announced that she had signed Puth to her label, eleveneleven. “Right opportunity can knock you anytime” the major break through Charlie Puth got as he mentioned in one of the interview with Billboard that everything happened very quickly one fine day when he received a mail from one of his friend who asked him to write some songs and he did, he started with the song Marvin Gaye and See you again and rest remains history.
The American heavy metal band Disturbed released their seventh album Evolution in October 2018 through Reprise Records. The album was recorded in between January and June 2018 at the Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas. The album has a total of ten tracks and an approximate time length of forty three minutes. The album clearly shows how their sound has evolved through the years and is a tribute to the deceased rock/metal musicians like Chester Bennington and Vinnie Paul whom they knew and toured with over the years. The album also portrays the softer side of their sound besides their usual hard rock and heavy metal music style. Few softer acoustic tracks have also been added in the album. David Draiman, the lead vocalist of Disturbed said that Evolution is their band’s “Black Album”, referring to Metallica’s self-titled album that was released in 1991 that evolved them from metal favourites to mainstream superstars. Regarding this album, he further said, “A record that breaks doors down, that opens up new opportunities to us, that helps you achieve true immortality as an artist”. They wanted to make every single track of the album a hit. The album received decent reviews from most music critics and listeners. The rock/metal music magazines Loudersound and Classic Rock rated the album 4 out of 5 stars. AllMusic rated the album 3 stars and NME rated it 2 stars. It received a rating of 7 out of 10 from Wall of Sound, and an average overall score of 58 out of 100 on Metacritic. According to Consequence of Sound, the heavier tracks in the album worked very well but the softer ones could work out better on a separate acoustic EP. The album gained significant commercial success and was featured in many music charts across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. It reached the top position on US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard) and Top Rock Albums (Billboard) music charts. It also debuted at the fourth position on Billboard 200. Overall, although the album received mixed reviews, it gained good commercial success like their previous albums. Also, a deluxe package of the album was released where four more tracks were added including a live cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” that featured the Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy on the vocals.
Kali Uchis’ debut album Isolation has been praised by critics for its distinct sound, and for its ability to bend through genres seamlessly. It has consistently been ranked as one of the best albums of 2018. The Colombian American singer was exposed to the likes of jazz, RnB, and Doo wop early on in her life. In school, she learnt to play the piano and the saxophone, and was even a part of her school’s jazz band. Soon after graduating, she debuted with her mixtape Drunken Babble which incorporated the sounds of early 2000s RnB as well as reggae. Kali then collaborated with Tyler, The Creator, Kaytranada, and BADBADNOTGOOD on her dreamy debut EP Por Vida which is one of her more underrated works. She further dons on her list a Grammy nomination for her collaboration with the critically acclaimed Daniel Caesar on the song “Get You”. On Isolation, she further refines her seductive and wispy sound, and partners up with some of the most well known names in the industry such as Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Steve Lacy, as well as the Gorillaz, which are enough to draw listeners to the songs. However, despite these big names, Kali Uchis retains her authenticity, and doesn’t let them overshadow her style. The influence of reggae, dream pop, jazz, soul, bossa nova and doo wop is clear. It is this very genre defying quality of her music which has led this album to receive the much deserved raving reviews. She claims to have been inspired by Ella Fitzgerald as well as Billie Holiday, and her voice has often been compared with that of the latter. However, despite the fact that most of her music derives inspiration from such vintage sounds, what Kali finally delivers is something fresh which has a distinct hallmark of its own. It is nostalgic, dreamy, and deeply personal all at the same time. Each song on it sounds different from the previous one, and she manages to effortlessly glide through it in style. While she may not fall within the traditional confines of a pop star, she definitely challenges these boundaries with her diverse music.
The American pop-rock band Maroon 5 released their sixth studio album Red Pill Blues in November 2017 through 222 Records and Interscope Records. The title came up from the science fictional concept of red pill and the blue pill that originated from the 1999 film “The Matrix”. This was their first release where they featured their multi-instrumentalist band member Sam Farrar. The standard album has a total of ten tracks that runs for an overall approximate time length of forty two minutes. However, there are five bonus tracks, adding which the time length becomes approximately sixty one minutes. The album received mixed reviews from the music critics and listeners, with an overall average rating of 58 on Metacritic. AllMusic and Rolling Stone magazine rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, while Financial Times and The Guardian rated it 3 out of 5 stars. Other publications like Siant Magazine and The Times rated it 2 stars. Entertainment Weekly described it as the “best and most cohesive set of the decade". Taylor Weatherby of Billboard described the album as the most electronic production that the band has ever seen and they have managed to use that in their classic Maroon 5 fashion. Financial Times praised the smooth high vocals and the catchy tunes. Pitchfork provided an average rating of 4.8 out of 10, describing the album as “smooth, professional, antiseptic soft-rock, which somehow also features Kendrick Lamar, Future, and A$AP Rocky”. However, some internet sources say that Maroon 5 later regretted having the album title as Red Pill Blues which also happened to be the name of a very controversial Men’s rights activist movement. A significant number of guests were featured in this album within production, songwriting, instrumentals and vocals. The album received significant commercial success. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 and Billboard Canadian albums, and at number one on Gaon music chart (South Korean International albums). Other than this, the album was featured in many music charts across the world and reached within the top ten positions in countries like Australia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Slovakia. The artwork concept of the album is also very interesting, which shows all the seven members of the band pictured on Polaroid photographs with Snapchat filters, which have become a mainstream social media culture. Overall, being a mainstream pop album, it can be said that it has already received significant success.
Leon Bridges establishes a connection with the present through a mature, polished soul and R&B sound
Leon Bridges, the twenty nine year old American soul singer, songwriter and record producer released his second studio album Good Thing in May 2018 through Columbia Records. The album was recorded in four different studios across California, Texas and North Carolina. The music in this album portrays a connection between the present and the classic soul and R&B Music – which created a more polished and modern form of soul music. There is a total of ten tracks in this album that runs for an approximate time length of thirty five minutes. Leon Bridges co-wrote almost all the songs in this album along with other songwriters. The album mostly received positive reviews from the music critics and listeners, with a decent overall rating of 74 out of 100 on Metacritic. Newspapers like The Guardian and The Independent, and online music magazines like NME and AllMusic rated the album 4 out of 5 stars. Rolling Stone rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated that the album is a “Uniquely Modern Vision of Classic Soul” and Leon Bridges is “looking for a future sound that connects his own past and the sweeping history of African-American music with the present moment”. The Canadian music magazine Exclaim! provided an excellent rating of 8 out of 10 mentioning the album as a “super-tight, 35-minute ride”. Pitchfork and Paste also provided good ratings of 7.2 and 6.7 out of 10 respectively. DJBooth described this album as more mature and forward thinking than his last album Coming Home. However, there were some mixed reviews as well from Siant Magazine and The Observer which rated the album 3 out of 5 stars. The album received significant commercial success and was featured in many music charts across the world. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200. It was also nominated for the best R&B album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. The first track of the album "Bet Ain't Worth the Hand" which was released as a single earlier in March 2018, won a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
“Outside” is the third studio album by the twenty seven year old Nigerian Afro-fusion Musician Damini Ogulu, professionally known as Burna Boy that was released in January 2018 through Spaceship Entertainment, Bad Habit and Atlantic Records. This has been described as a mixtape and is made up of Afro-Jamaican genres like afrobeats, reggae, dancehall and some influence of road rap. Burna Boy reportedly linked up with the Toronto-born rapper Drake and looked for a “playlist” collecting sounds from across the world, which hybridised the overall sound in the album. There is a total of thirteen tracks in the album with an overall time length of forty four minutes, with only one of the tracks exceeding four minutes. The album received excellent reviews from the music critics and listeners. It received a rating of 7.7 out of 10 on Pitchfork that praised Burna Boy’s versatility in this album claiming it to be “a fine lesson in mixing genres without making mud”. One Time, that rated the album 4 out of 5 stars, praised the successful experiment with different sounds, however, also mentioned that it lacks a common theme. The African lifestyle, entertainment and fashion website BellaNaija rated the album 8 out of 10, stating that Burna Boy was successful with this work even after remaining defiant of the norms of the industry. Nigerian Entertainment Today stated that the album showcases a versatile and well-balanced mix of speed, depth and storytelling. The music review website TooXclusive also rated the album 4 out of 5 stars praising the diverse range of sounds within the album. An article published on the online platform Medium might have already summarized what the writer thought of the album in the headline itself- “OUTSIDE- Burna Boy is a jerk, who is also a Genius”. Nigerian Entertainment Today and Pulse Nigeria ranked the album as the best Nigerian album of 2018. Moreover, Nigeria Entertainment Awards awarded Outside the Album of the year in 2018, and it debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. It was also nominated in the Album of the year list by the City People Music Awards. Overall, most of the critic and listener responses on YouTube uploads and various other websites suggest that this album is being liked by most of them. The infusion of different sounds made it even more attractive to them.
The twenty nine year old American country musician Luke Combs released his debut album This One’s for You in June 2017. There is a total of seventeen tracks in the album with a total time length of approximately fifty nine minutes. However, the album contained twelve tracks when it was first released and the additional five tracks were later added in June 2018 when the deluxe reissue This One’s for You Too was released to celebrate the album’s first anniversary. The album explores both the traditional and modern sides of country music – contemporary country music and country pop. It mostly received good reviews from the music critics and listeners as they praised the artist’s singing and songwriting skills. AllMusic rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars saying “he tension between Combs' traditional side and his modern inclinations is what gives This One's for You some freshness”. Jewly Right from the National Public Radio praised his work saying, “Combs projects a lot of other qualities that have been largely missing from the country mainstream of late, like hearty emotionalism and earthy, self-deprecating wit.” Country Music Magazine rated the album 4 out of 5 stars. Moreover, the tracks included in the deluxe edition were also praised largely by critics including New England Country Music who added that he took his fans’ demands seriously and now the fans are going “beautifully crazy” over his new songs. The album has enjoyed significant commercial success and was featured in many weekly and yearly music charts across the continents of North America, Europe and Oceania. It was ranked at the top position in US Billboard Country Albums 2018 and was ranked at the third position in Australian ARIA chart. It also reached the fourth position in US Billboard 200 weekly music chart. The album also received several gold and platinum certifications and thus, it can be concluded that the album is not only commercially successful but also definitely marks a significant milestone in the current country music scene. The twenty nine year old country musician, son of a maintenance worker and a prison human resources staffer in North Carolina is quickly emerging as one of the country music sensations.
There is a very funny but quite an interesting story about how I became familiar to this song, till 2017 - I wasn’t much aware of the song or say I have not much idea about the band called Imagine Dragon, until my college started playing the song believer in all the occasion, that’s when I searched for the song and got to know about the band. The birth of Imagine Dragons can be traced back to 2008 when led singer Dan Reynolds decided to start their band after meeting his old school pal Andrew Tolman. Initially to start their band they recruited Dave Lemke, Aurora Florence and Andrew Beck to play bass, piano and guitar respectively. They released an extended play which was named Speak to me that year but unfortunately Aurora Florence and Andrew Beck left the band that year, after this two left the group a hollow was created in the band so to fill that part he hired his old mate from Bercklee college of Music to be there guitarist, interesting part is Tolman had to do a lot of recruitment works to make sure that the band doesn’t fall down, interestingly to fill the place of vocalist he hired his wife Brittany Tolman, and after finishing all this recruitments they started performing, but after sometime their lead bassist Dave Lemke left and to fill his place they hired another Bercklee alumni Ben McKee and that’s how they completed the full band. The early breakthrough they got is when in 2009 just before the performance for Bite of Las Vegas festival in 2009 - Pat Monahan the lead vocalist of the band Train fell sick, so they couldn’t perform instead of that, to fill the empty slot up - Imagine Dragon came forward as a last minute replacement and performed in front of a crowd of 26,000. After that Imagine Dragon received a lot of acknowledgment from the fans from Las Vegas, they were even named as the best Local Indie Band of 2010 by Las Vegas weekly. Funny part about Imagine Dragon is that till 2011 the shuffling of team members was continued as in 2011 the Tolman’s left the band and were replaced by Danial Platzman. even Theresa Flaminio joined their band but soon she exited. Finally, in 2011 they signed a contract with Interscope record and also, they thought to work with famous English producer Alex da Kid.
Collected by ”@Soulbyweekly”
Collected by ”@Soulbyweekly”
Collected by ”@Soulbyweekly”
Collected by ”@Soulbyweekly”
Collected by ”@Soulbyweekly”
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